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I'm mostly referring to the younger generation(s) and the apps most widely used by them. Think of the simplicity of applications like Instagram and Snapchat. There isn't much to the interfaces for most user interaction - some images, videos, text, an input or two, and a few buttons. There may be some advanced touch interactions (pinching and swiping), but overall, applications these days tend to be relatively simple.

Older generations definitely struggle using software though, so I think they may be a good metric for how simple and easy to use software can be.

Anecdotal experiences could certainly play a role in my opinion here, but I do think I've recognized a pattern over the past couple of decades where winning software interfaces have made a transition from being overly designed and complex to much simpler designs with (usually) predictable interactive element positions and flows.

Think of what software was like when there were "shiny" buttons and small text everywhere with confusing visual flow, and then think about what it is now, usually composed of flat buttons (e.g., the "material-ui" standard) and easy to digest visual flow with predictable interactions. This transition is likely a natural result of figuring out over time what works best and what doesn't.

By tech savvy people, I mean the end users who interact with software on a regular basis. These people (i.e., most people in the modern world, a number steadily increasing) will naturally gravitate towards the easy-to-use, predictable design patterns to which they've become accustomed.






I find Snapchat to be a confusing and complex app. It’s very hard to figure out how to do what you want unless someone shows you. The UI doesn’t have any discoverability. Many actions are hidden behind non-obvious gestures. Lake many apps nowadays, it gives the illusion of simplicity by just not having adequate UI.

On a related note, I absolutely hate how most mobile and many web and desktop-based apps nowadays don’t have tooltips, so I can’t figure out what some inscrutable icon/button is supposed to do by hovering my mouse on it or long pressing my finger on it. This used to be table stakes.


Yeah, I also find most modern "simple" apps and sites really confusing. Especially if they're social. Even Twitter's confusing as hell, despite doing very little. I bounced off Facebook in about a week back in 2011 or so, and never returned, because I couldn't figure out where anything was or where anything went, and it was less confusing back then from what I can tell.

Apps are simply becuase devices force them to appear simple. Screenestate is limited and inputactions are mostly touch&gesture-based. That leaves not much room for complexity. Even the onscreen-keyboard only has chars by default, not modifier for complex shortcuts.



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